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The artwork of the month - May 2018

Pubblicato da
Lorenzo Ciotti
il 09 maggio 2018
The School of Athens, by Raphael, in the Vatican Museums

In May, a month that best symbolizes all the power of spring, our proposal is the School of Athens, a fresco dated 1510 by Raphael.

It is located in the famous Stanza della Segnatura, one of the four Vatican Rooms of the Apostolic Palaces, within the thematic itinerary of the Vatican Museums. The fresco symbolizes one of the most relevant artistic works of Western art.

Commissioned together with the other rooms by Pope Julius II in 1508, the School of Athens is probably the most famous work of the Vatican Rooms. The fresco represents the most famous philosophers and mathematicians of antiquity while they dialogue among themselves within an imaginary classical building.

The figures at the center of the scene are Plato and Aristotle, while the rest of the group, including Archimedes and Euclid, are arranged in a sort of book-style art, in what is a representation of a perfect perspective.

Besides the undisputed beauty, the work is famous because it evokes illustrious contemporary men of Raphael, frescoed under the guise of philosophers, historians and mathematicians of antiquity. Plato would actually represent Leonardo da Vinci. Aristotle Bastiano da Sangallo. Heraclitus Michelangelo Buonarroti. There is also a self-portrait of Raphael himself.

Together with the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Rooms frescoed by Raphael are the most important highlights of the Vatican Museums. And among the frescoes in the Rooms, the School of Athens holds the most eminent role.

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